Work Life Balance

Gerald Clark
5 min readMay 26, 2023

It’s been several months since I wrote anything in regards to parenthood and the challenges that come with it. Lots to update!

  1. I’ve been working at TruPlay Games for about 6 months now.
  2. Luca is walking, running, trying to say things to me, eating real food, had RSV, had COVID, etc.
  3. I’m starting to finally understand how important work life balance is.

TruPlay has been an insanely eye opening experience. The application we’ve been making will be dropping in the U.S. very soon! It feels really good to be able to have a “shipped title” on my resume now :). Perhaps this will lead to bigger and better things!

Luca has grown up way too much since my last entry. He can walk perfectly. Before he was hardly able to stand on his own. He eats like… real food now… just whatever me and my wife are having, he eats. Obviously we take the fact that he has 6 teeth into consideration, but most things we eat are generally baby friendly. He plays peek-a-boo with us by putting his hand over his face, waiting a few seconds then revealing his face and going “Buh!”. Lol it’s awesome. He’s becoming more and more human every day. He’s got a personality, preferences, favorite things, things he’s afraid of. It’s crazy. To me the hardest part of the baby stages is over.

This brings me to a realization I had today. The baby stage is over. He’s a toddler and he’s continuing to grow. How do I feel about that? Depends on the day really. Sometimes I’m excited because I know he’s getting to experience life and I get to be there for it. Sometimes I get sad about him growing up. It means I’ll never experience baby problems with him again. He doesn’t puke all over me anymore. He doesn’t cry randomly and loudly anymore. He isn’t helpless anymore. Perhaps my sadness comes from the feeling of not being NEEDED for certain things anymore. Maybe it’s because it means I’m getting older too and eventually I’m gonna die. Lolol I know i know… dramatic af.

The past week or so has been rather brutal for me work-wise. Lots of deadlines and no time. I completed my final big task for the week today and now the game is set to ship! Woo! To make a long story short, my wife got really excited today because my neighbor’s neighbor visited my neighbor and she thought they’d come by our place too to say hello, but they didn’t. She kept trying to go over to the neighbor’s house to introduce herself, but I kept telling her to wait because I felt like it’d be weird for her to just drop by in the middle of their conversation.

She basically told me it’s my fault we have no neighbor friends. I just stick to myself. Like it’s a bad thing. I do Stick to myself. I don’t really like the idea of my neighbor just being comfortable enough to stop by unannounced whenever they want. I also don’t make much of an effort to befriend people. Not because I don’t care or anything. I’ve just been very busy trying to get a job I don’t hate while taking care of a kid for the past 2 years. It just seems exhausting to put another obligation on my plate. Maintaining friendships is difficult when they’re new friendships.

I spent some time with a friend of mine from Hawaii a few days ago. We haven’t actually seen each other in over a year. We met up and it was like no time passed. We were just on the same wavelength from the start. This is because that friendship is an old one. It’s been maintained and it’s self sustaining now. It doesn’t NEED maintenance. New friendships do. Do I really want to maintain a new friendship while maintaining a career and a relationship with my child?

I used to see posts on LinkedIn like “I just left my job at *insert awesome company name here* because my work life balance was non existent.”I’d almost scoff at some of these posts because I’d think “wow that was dumb.” Or “how can your work life balance really not exist? Exaggerating much?”.

Now I get it. I totally get it. I’m currently turning down the opportunity to make life long friendships because I care too much about work. I’m indirectly effecting my wife’s friendships too because of it. Friendships and family are way more important than any job could ever be. If EA Games or Ubisoft hit me up and was like “we need you for our next insanely popular title. We’ll pay an absurd amount of money…..but you won’t get to see your family except at night for the next 5 years.” I’d turn it down before they were even able to finish that sentence.

I might sound crazy if you’re reading this and have been chasing the game developer dream job for a long time. I’m not saying TruPlay has ruined my work life balance btw. I work from home and my schedule is pretty much whenever I want. This week was kinda rough though because of some very important deadlines. It’s usually not like that though. I’m just saying that I can see how working for a bigger, more popular company with a reputation to uphold can be devastating to a family and friendships. You get so wrapped up in it and forget about how your actions effect the people you care about the most.

All I’m saying is that if you’re a parent and overwhelmed and tired and hungry for a chance in the games industry, keep pushing for that. Do it FOR YOUR FAMILY though. Not to quench your thirst for notoriety, or simply for a paycheck, or to complete your quest for a fulfilling career. None of that shit matters when you have a family to provide for.

We’re on this earth for a super short amount of time. We’re all lost looking for something to help us forget this intense fear of the reality that we’re all spinning on a giant rock in nothingness flying at incomprehensible speeds and it’s all going to come to an end before we know it. Lol make the time you have here mean something more than a game.

Do you want to be remembered for the lessons you taught your child? The love you fostered between you and your partner? The overcoming of insane struggles and pain with those people? Or for being one of the 84858483993$47383@4$&3 developers who worked on Call of Duty 9,000? To me, the choice is clear.

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